What is a District Clerk?

The District Clerk’s office records the actions and the judgments of the court; transmits the orders of the court to the authorities responsible for their execution; and assumes all other duties assigned by the presiding judge of a court. The District Clerk’s office “makes justice happen.” The District Clerk is elected by Harris County voters for a 4-year term.

A Texas district clerk is a “constitutional officer of county government” found in Article 5, Section 9 of the state’s constitution. The district clerk is the custodian of the “official record of the district courts” and must mark the exact date and time of receipt and issue all papers including subpoenas, citations, warrants, and summons.

Most court records are public information. The district clerk is responsible for managing those records in such a way that they are easily retrieved for public information and preserved for permanent storage in archive or disposed of according to law.

The district clerk also collects and disburses court costs, fines, and other fees. The clerk’s office operates a “trust registry” where funds are deposited on behalf of minors until they are 18 and money that is being disputed in court. The district clerk also provides customer service for all child custody cases heard in Harris County.

The District Clerk manages all aspects of the juror summons and selection. And currently the clerk’s office is operating a county passport office in the same manner as the Post Office.

The Harris County District Clerk’s office is the largest in the state and one of the largest departments in Harris County government. The annual budget is $33 million and the office employs a staff of more than 500.

The District Clerk’s office is located at 201 Caroline Street and provides direct service to 26 Civil courts, 22 Criminal District courts, 16 County Criminal courts, 12 Family courts, and 3 Juvenile courts.

The demands of the office are challenging to even the most experienced managers. That is why electing Marilyn is so important. Marilyn Burgess is the only candidate in the race with the skills and experience in management, finance, and administration who can successfully lead the office and continue building a stronger, more efficient organization.

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